I am an agent in Illinois, but I own a vacation/lake house in Wisconsin. My husband and I looked for a lake house for about a year before we bought. We wanted something less than 4 hours from our house,(Western suburbs of Chicago) that gave us the feel of the Northwoods with a clean lake.
We found a property on Legend Lake in Keshena, WI.. The homes are year round, it's a private spring fed lake with over 1200 acres, good fishing, motor boats, jet skiing, no commercial properties on the lake so it's clean, etc.. It is very wooded and most of the homes sit on 3/4 acre lots (like the North Woods without the drive). I put a link to the website below.
I am not sure what areas you are looking in, but I would call local agents and compare what you get for your money in the places you are considering.
I hope this helps!